[CSH Seminar Series]
Communal conflict and the class division of plunder
(I. Dasgupta)

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The Centre de Sciences Humaines is pleased to invite you to the CSH Seminar


Indraneel Dasgupta

Economic Research Unit, Indian Statistical Institute, and IZA Bonn

Communal conflict and the class division of plunder

Abstract: How does inter-class sharing of plunder within a class-divided community affect its resource conflict with another? We shed theoretical light on this issue. We model a scenario where two communities, each class-differentiated into rich and poor segments, engage in a rent-seeking contest. All members of either community have some uncontested income and first decide how much to allocate to rent-seeking. They subsequently allocate their residual income between private consumption and a community-specific pure public good. We find that, when the communities are sufficiently large, only the rich participate in inter-community conflict, regardless of their class share of the rent (‘plunder’). Indeed, the rich may be the only participants in communal conflict even if each poor individual is assured a higher share of any plunder accruing thereby to her community, than any rich individual. The community which offers a larger class share of the spoils to its rich is more successful in communal conflict, even if each rich individual receives a higher share in the other community. Given its dispersion, any increase in the geometric mean of the class share of the rich across the two communities increases conflict. Given the geometric mean, any increase in its dispersion reduces conflict.

Speaker: Indraneel Dasgupta is currently Professor, Economic Research Unit, Indian Statistical Institute, Calcutta, India. He joined IZA, the Institute of Labour Economics, Bonn, as a Research Fellow in January 2008. Indraneel’s research interests lie broadly in the areas of microeconomic theory, development economics and public economics, with a policy focus on issues relating to inequality and distributive conflict. His work in microeconomic theory has focused on foundational issues in revealed preference theory. Indraneel is also a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Development Studies.


More info:
julien  {dot}  levesque  {at}  csh-delhi  {dot}  com

For registration:

RSVP mentioning your full name to be sent (before Monday, 13 January, 12 p.m.) to: neeru  {dot}  gohar  {at}  csh-delhi  {dot}  com

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